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Bacon Cat in the New York Times
October 4, 2008 7:15 AM   Subscribe

Bacon Cat in the New York Times With the presidential race heating up and the financial bailout package passing Congress on Friday, the New York Times thought this was the perfect time for a hard hitting look at straight, single men who own cats. So of course they wanted input from author John Scalzi, who by virtue of the fact that he is married, is not single. He does own Bacon Cat though.
posted by COD (46 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
Right, because the NY Times Fashion & Style section (where the article appeared) should be focusing on the bailout and the election.
posted by proj at 7:36 AM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Aw. Men with their cats is cute.
posted by dog food sugar at 7:49 AM on October 4, 2008


This is an astounding accomplishment. I don't think I've ever seen any newspaper article manage to insult and/or deride straight men, gay men, women in general, the concepts of masculinity and femininity, dogs, and cats all at the same time. Under the pretense of being a positive piece, to boot. And in fewer than 1,400 words! Now that's journalism, people.
posted by tzikeh at 7:55 AM on October 4, 2008 [9 favorites]


Awards? Success? Fame? Perhaps one day they will be yours. But the fact is, nothing you’ll ever do will be more popular than that online picture of bacon taped to a cat.

Dare to dream, man, dare to dream!
posted by Fuzzy Monster at 7:59 AM on October 4, 2008


That article was about guys like me, and yet I think even the Style section could do better. The style section of a little local paper should do better, not to mention the paper of record.
posted by SkinnerSan at 8:05 AM on October 4, 2008


Metafilter's own jscalzi
posted by infinitywaltz at 8:10 AM on October 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


I don't understand the allure of someone with a blog where an entry includes a piece of bacon taped to a cat. Much less anything to do with pontificating about their sexuality.

I keep trying.

I say things like, "Dude, it's a cat! With bacon on it!", and nothing happens.

I say things like, "oh, new meme! Bacon Cat Is Watching You Read the NY Times!", and nothing happens.

I say things like, "That's so meta!" and then realize I have no idea what that even means anymore.

I sit here and wonder if I can no longer appreciate the wonderful world of strange that is the internet.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 8:14 AM on October 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


In all honesty, I have never seen this whole weirdness between men and cats anywhere in real life, ever. Cat ownership seems to be a completely gender-neutral trait everywhere except in the media. And by "the media," I mean some stupid radio commercial I heard once where this chick was questioning the masculinity of a guy who owns a cat. Other than that, nothin'. But thanks, NYT, for addressing this hard-hitting issue right now, when the attention is needed most.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 8:20 AM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


these days, the way you know a man is gay is not that he owns a cat, it’s that he introduces the man standing next to him as his husband.

Nicely done scalzi.
posted by Mister_A at 8:25 AM on October 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


Single man with one cat = cool.
Single man with two cats = no worries, cats need companions.
Single man with three cats = what's the story here? I need background before passing judgment.
Single man with four cats = no, see, you're doing it wrong. Either that, or you're elderly.
Singe man with five or more cats = owns a HAM radio and likes putting together puzzles.
posted by billysumday at 8:28 AM on October 4, 2008 [5 favorites]


...by virtue of the fact that he is married, is not single.

This is kind of hard-hitting, deep-digging, skeleton-exposing journalism I've come to expect from the NYT over the last 8 years.
posted by DU at 8:35 AM on October 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


As a single male, I freely admit I occasionally need feline companionship.
posted by FuManchu at 8:45 AM on October 4, 2008


From the article: Over the last few years Sandra DeFeo, an executive director at the Humane Society of New York, said she had seen an increase in the number of single, straight men who are adopting cats.

Does the NY Humane Society ask people who adopt cats their sexual orientation? Or when these men go to adopt the cat they says "I'm a single straight man and I'd like to adopt a cat" when then walk in?
posted by birdherder at 8:46 AM on October 4, 2008


Although there are no hard (or soft) statistics (it is rare to find an owner, man or woman, walking a cat in public), it seems that single, heterosexual male cat owners are on the rise.

Man, I should've followed my guidance counselor's advice and pursued journalism. It looks easy: just write stuff that feels right to you regardless of pesky statistics and facts.
posted by slimepuppy at 8:58 AM on October 4, 2008


Okay, the TIMES article was profoundly silly.

But my hand to God, I am seriously going to try to contact the guy from TIME OUT NEW YORK they have featured in their article because -- HUBBA HUBBA.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:00 AM on October 4, 2008


Ohhhhhh, NYTimes Style section, you dirty little rat, turning Metafilter's undying hate for you against itself by including one of its own in a story about nerd cat owners.

Well played, well played.
posted by The Straightener at 9:26 AM on October 4, 2008 [3 favorites]


On the Internet, nobody knows you snuffle-whuffle with your kitty-witty. Who's a bitty-kitty-witty? You are! Yes, you are! Ouch, you little bastard.
posted by steef at 9:38 AM on October 4, 2008 [28 favorites]


I just wanted to say that I really, really, really have come to loathe this demotivational posters. HEY, let's take what might be a funny image, and give it TWO CAPTIONS! LOLOLOLOOL
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 10:13 AM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


This leaves me with a lot of questions.

Who tapes bacon to their cat? Why is owning a cat a measure of sexuality? Why would anyone have a problem with their date owning a cat? Why is are my newspapers cutting actual cultural events coverage while the NYT uses their accent section to talk about formerly single, straight men and their cats?

And the big one that others have mentioned, aren't there more important things to talk about?
posted by JustKeepSwimming at 10:57 AM on October 4, 2008


I for one love my cat. I for one, would love my cat even more if he were bacon flavoured.
posted by scarello at 11:39 AM on October 4, 2008


So when does the media-driven backlash against a media-created men and cats trend begin? I think this is an example of why Twain said, "If man could be crossed with the cat it would improve man, but it would deteriorate the cat." Cats, as he notes, cannot be made slaves to the lash. If they were Times reporters, then, they'd focus on style, rather than being slaves to fashion re gender or anything else. But they'd still bug the hell out of you for today's state-of-the-art kitty treats. There's an exception to the enslavement rule there.
posted by raysmj at 11:42 AM on October 4, 2008


I just wanted to say that I really, really, really have come to loathe this demotivational posters. HEY, let's take what might be a funny image, and give it TWO CAPTIONS! LOLOLOLOOL
posted by TheOnlyCoolTim at 11:45 AM on October 4, 2008 [9 favorites]


I miss my cat.
posted by flaterik at 12:24 PM on October 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Single man with three cats = what's the story here? I need background before passing judgment.

When I was single with three cats let me tell you there is no way to bring that up with even like cool freethinking women without them raising one eyebrow so fuckin high up I thought they were going to pull a muscle.
posted by Optimus Chyme at 12:28 PM on October 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Well played, Tim.

The problem with the (De-)Motivational Poster format is that it really does require two good punchlines, a one-or-two-word one about the picture and a longer one related to the picture AND the first one but NOT explaining either. If done well, it is Comedy Gold; done badly, it's LOCAT Chow.

Of course, taping bacon to a cat is a multi-level joke too, but also demonstrating that there are no dogs in the household, otherwise the dog would currently be trying to eat both.
posted by wendell at 12:31 PM on October 4, 2008


The most important animal is the single man, IMHO. Cats, dogs, horses, tropical fish, reptiles: well okay then, interesting. Hamster? Ant farm? Now you're worrying me.
posted by woodway at 12:46 PM on October 4, 2008


Geesh, doesn't the NYT have a staff of stereotype checkers? Because the last time I checked the most common fill-in-the-blank for "A single man with a _______ for a pet is probably gay" was "little tiny dog".
posted by 23skidoo at 1:02 PM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


They fired the stereotype checker a few decades ago. He was too stereotypically ______.
posted by ilsa at 1:12 PM on October 4, 2008


For the majority of my twenties I was a single guy with two cats. I had no idea at the time I was on the cutting edge of a new trend. Now I'm married and they're both dead so, as usual, I'm sure I'll get no credit for this.
posted by The Gooch at 1:23 PM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


You can also read Mark Fletcher's thoughts on being interviewed. You'd think he'd be famous for ONElist or Bloglines. But, no, it's his cat.
posted by Nelson at 1:38 PM on October 4, 2008


Though he will not remember me, I am proud to say that I knew John Scalzi before he ever taped bacon to a cat.
posted by LarryC at 2:07 PM on October 4, 2008


I'm not sure this really does anything for bacon or for cats, both of which individually are very popular with me.
posted by Artw at 2:15 PM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


would that bacon still be edible after you removed it from the cat?
posted by UbuRoivas at 2:19 PM on October 4, 2008


Yes, by the cat.
posted by woodway at 2:21 PM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


Stacy Mantle, the founder of Petsweekly.com, a magazine for pet lovers, said that men are becoming more “cat literate” because they themselves are evolving.
“It’s the unevolved members of the species who tend toward abuse of cats — and oftentimes, women and children,” said Ms. Mantle, who owns 18 cats.


*bites tongue*
posted by dersins at 2:26 PM on October 4, 2008


Being a straight guy who loves cats, I have to admit the article is spot on, especially Scalzi about a guy with a cat being secure in himself. The way I see it, cats do not easily become affectionate and you have to win their love. Dogs will run around you and chase you no matter what. If you can make a cat do that, then you have won the game (what game? oh you know, the game...)

Alas I am no longer single and don't count among the single-guy-with-cats demographic. However, I did have the advantage of marrying into a puppy, another cat, two turtles, one tortoise, and then we got another turtle and two sugar gliders. So yeah, pets are awesome. To all the single guys out there who like cats, all I can say is hold out for the girl who loves animals as much as you do. If a girl says "ewww cat" just back off. People who favor one special of animal over another aren't worth your time and affection anyway.
posted by chime at 3:28 PM on October 4, 2008


Cat in an empty apartment
posted by vronsky at 3:37 PM on October 4, 2008 [1 favorite]


The way I see it, cats do not easily become affectionate and you have to win their love.

Err, you've never worn a Burmese against your will, have you?
posted by maudlin at 4:26 PM on October 4, 2008 [2 favorites]


Just finished watching True Grit, starring John Wayne. He has a cat in that one. Yeah.
posted by slimepuppy at 4:39 PM on October 4, 2008


I don't think I've ever seen any newspaper article manage to insult and/or deride straight men, gay men, women in general, the concepts of masculinity and femininity, dogs, and cats all at the same time. Under the pretense of being a positive piece, to boot. And in fewer than 1,400 words!

Yeah, usually the NYT Style section is more efficient.
</NYTFilter>
posted by dhartung at 5:00 PM on October 4, 2008


Everyone knows gay men own fluffy little dogs, not cats :)

Two cats are just perfect. They can keep each other occupied and attack each other instead of attacking you. Unlike dogs, you can actually have a conversation with a cat. Instead of just barking at random, a cat will go up to you, look you straight in the eye and meow and respond to anything you say, even though the two of you don't understand each other.
posted by mike3k at 6:12 PM on October 4, 2008


Instead of just barking at random, a cat will go up to you, look you straight in the eye and meow and respond to anything you say, even though the two of you don't understand each other.

I used to think that. Then I got a deaf cat, and I didn't really notice any difference in the conversations I had with her and with my parents' (hearing) cats.

I still have conversations with my cat, though.
posted by Johnny Assay at 9:05 PM on October 4, 2008


Thank you, Tim, I'm honored. And thanks for not making fun of my spelling mistake.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 2:00 AM on October 5, 2008


even though the two of you don't understand each other

speak for yourself. my kitty, pounce de leon, understands me better than any man i have ever met.

/crazy old cat lady in training. stay tuned! i'll be drinking drano and talking to buildings soon!
posted by CitizenD at 2:57 PM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Meterosexuality doesn't stop at zuzhed hair. Film at 11.

Up next, are straight women buying more iguanas and spider monkeys? We'll have the hard hitting vague anecdotes.
posted by Gucky at 5:09 PM on October 5, 2008 [1 favorite]


Another in a long, media-created list of things that make you look gay even though there's nothing wrong with that, in fact, despite this you are a real man, a straight man, even!

Jesus, it's amazing what completely manufactured drivel passes for journalism these days.
posted by Poagao at 12:54 AM on October 6, 2008


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